Scientists Discover New Taste—for Fat

Overweight people may be desensitized to fat taste
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2010 4:22 PM CST
You can just taste the fat in this pork sandwich.

(Newser) – Scientists think they found a new taste sense, though it's probably one we should've found sooner: it's for fat. Researchers in New Zealand tested human subjects for the ability to taste fat and discovered varying levels of sensitivity to the taste. "We also found that those with a high sensitivity to the taste of fat consumed less fatty foods and had lower BMIs than those with lower sensitivity," said one researcher.

One related theory is that people who become desensitized to the taste tend to eat more fatty foods, reports LiveScience. Assuming the research holds up, fat would be the sixth known taste that can be picked up by the human tongue, after sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. The latter is found in protein-rich foods.

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